January 6, 2020 / 3:50 PM / 19 days ago

German energy usage fell 2.3% in 2019 to more than 40-year low

    FRANKFURT, Jan 6 (Reuters) - German energy usage fell 2.3%
in 2019 to a more than 40-year low due to efficiency measures, a
slowing economy and a shift from manufacturing to service
industries, industry group AGEB said on Monday, confirming an
October forecast.
    In its annual report the AGEB said full-year primary energy
usage in Europe's biggest economy fell to 437.3 million tonnes
of coal equivalent, an industry standard measure, to hit its
lowest level since the early 1970s in a third year of declines.
   Positive factors for energy use, such as population growth
and cooler weather than a year earlier, had limited the extent
of the drop.
    Hard coal usage fell by 20.5% to a historic low, replaced by
high wind and solar power production that is given priority on
transmission grids, and with high mandatory carbon emissions
prices encouraging the burning of gas as an alternative.
    Use of domestic brown coal fell by 20.7% for similar
reasons. Generation plants also took longer maintenance outages
and some moved into reserve status, while the Hambach mining
site delivered less output than planned due to a standstill in a
row with environmentalists.
    Gas usage rose by 3.6% in power plants and as the weather
required more home heating, AGEB said.
    Big power generators include RWE, Uniper
and EnBW.
    Renewable usage increased by 4% from solar, biomass, wind
and hydro sources.
    Mineral oil usage rose by 1.7% due to more sales of diesel,
gasoline and jet fuel and heating oil, which more than offset
losses in naphtha sales to industry.
    Overall, the changes resulted in a 7%, or 50 million tonne,
decline in Germany's annual carbon dioxide emissions, AGEB said.
    Figures in the following table are rounded and expressed in
million tonnes of coal equivalent.*
    
       USE BY   Jan-Dec 2018   Jan-Dec 2019  PERCENTAGE CHANGE
       ENERGY                                            YR/YR
       SOURCE                                
  Mineral oil          151.6          154.2             +  1.7
  Natural gas          105.4          109.2             +  3.6
    Hard coal           48.7           38.7             - 20.5
      Lignite           50.4           39.9             - 20.7
      Nuclear           28.3           28.0             -  1.1
       energy                                
   Renewables           61.6           64.6             +  4.0
      Foreign          - 6.3          - 4.5                ...
  power trade                                
      balance                                
       Others            7.8            7.4             -  4.8
        TOTAL          447.5          437.3             -  2.3
    * One million tonnes coal equivalent unit equals 29.308
petajoules.

 (Reporting by Vera Eckert
Editing by Kirsten Donovan)
  
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